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'There's genuine quality in this Bayern team'

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'There's genuine quality in this Bayern team'

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:30 pm

Events in the last few days before Christmas are still preying on Massimo Oddo's mind: the Italian was suspended for three matches after receiving a red card in the last Bundesliga fixture before the winter break away to Stuttgart. "I was shocked when I heard about the ban," the 32-year-old revealed to

Despite this less than happy episode, Oddo is thoroughly enjoying life at Bayern and in the Bundesliga, and could well imagine staying at the Säbener Strasse beyond the end of the season, "although it's not up to me alone, the decision also involves the club, the coach and the management." FCB have until "late March or April" to exercise an option to purchase the on-loan player from AC Milan, general manager Uli Hoeneß reported.

Interview: Massimo Oddo Massimo, you were given the afternoon off on Tuesday. Did you take the opportunity to watch your former AC Milan team-mates take on Hamburg in a friendly here in Dubai?
Massimo Oddo: "No, I wasn't there. We're training and working very hard, as we want to be in peak condition for the second half of the season. I chose to stay at the hotel and recover." This is your first-ever meaningful winter break. Does it feel a little strange?
Oddo: "The Italian league only stops for a couple of weeks, the winters aren't as cold as they are in Germany (laughs). Having such a long break is a little unusual to me personally, but I must say it's very pleasant. When you're chasing three trophies, it's good to have time off to recharge your batteries after the first half of the season." Have you mentally accepted your red card in Stuttgart and the severe disciplinary penalty it attracted?
Oddo: "I was shocked when I heard about the ban. I think three games is harsh. I can only repeat that I didn't see my opponent in the incident, I was totally focused on the ball. My boot may have been a bit high, but I had no intention of endangering my opponent. I don't agree with the severity of the punishment." You're eligible for the Cup tie in Stuttgart on 27 January, but you're banned for the next three Bundesliga fixtures. It's a strange situation, isn't it?
Oddo: "I think it's important I play in Stuttgart, otherwise it'll be a very long break for me. I'm trying to make the best of the situation. I'll work hard during this period, and hope the team wins all three games in my absence." How are you feeling after six months in Munich?
Oddo: "I think it's a great experience for me, both as a player and as a person. I'm very happy in Munich and at Bayern. We have a great team and lots of good players, and terrific team spirit. We're a good unit." The Bundesliga boasts four Italian internationals at the moment, Luca and yourself in Munich, Barzagli and Zaccardo in Wolfsburg. Could that number increase?
Oddo: "Overall, I think the Bundesliga's becoming more attractive, with a number of good teams. In Italy, you only have three or maybe four teams with any chance of winning the league, but the league here is more open and exciting. There are more and more good players too, many from abroad. I could imagine that trend continuing over the next few years. If a fellow Italian player asked, I'd recommend Germany to him. Interest in the Bundesliga is certainly on the up in Italy." Italian football is still plagued by hooliganism. Do you enjoy the very different atmosphere in German stadiums?
Oddo: "Oh, it's fantastic here. Italian crowds are strictly segregated, but mixing is the norm in Germany. The Bundesliga has so many fabulous stadiums, where whole families meet up hours before kick-off at the restaurants and similar meeting points. That's unimaginable in Italy. The stadiums are outdated, and people only come for the game." It sounds as though you'd like to stay at Bayern for longer...
Oddo: "The loan deal expires in the summer. I feel very settled, and I could well imagine remaining in Munich. But it's not up to me alone, the decision also involves the club, the coach and the management." But you'd answer "Si" if Uli Hoeneß tabled an offer?
Oddo: "I think I would, but it's too early to talk about it. We'll get round to that in the spring." You won the Champions League with Milan in 2007. Comparing the teams, what can Bayern achieve this term?
Oddo: "Bayern have genuine quality in the team now, but the Champions League is totally unpredictable. Anything can happen in the knockout rounds. You don't just need quality, you need luck, you need form at just the right time, and you need a favourable draw. I'm not sure Milan were the best team in 2007, but we might have been the smartest, and also the most experienced. Often, that's what really counts in big games." If you win a trophy with Bayern, will you shave your team-mates' heads, like you did after winning the World Cup?
Oddo: (Laughs) "That was just a joke, a bet. I don't know if I'd do that again. If we win the Champions League, maybe I'll jump naked into the pool. But let's not go there for now, we can talk about it in three or four months once it's happened. We need to run up the right results first."
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